The apex court of justice in India held an “in-chamber” hearing with a panel of judges today, i.e., 4 September 2020. In the hearing, the Supreme Court heard all the petitions and appeals regarding the postponement of the JEE Main and NEET 2020 examinations. The hearing did not include any lawyer for defending the opposition party, hence the term “in-chamber.”
The oppositions were mainly from the chief ministers of six opposition-ruled states, including West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra. After receiving heavy demands from the candidates as well as their guardians, the CMs of these states filed petitions challenging the order ruled out by the Supreme Court on 17 August 2020. The petitions demanded a postponement of the national level engineering and medical entrance examination till December 2020, owing to the increasing cases of COVID-19.
Moreover, the weekend lockdowns imposed on some of the states as a preventing measure for containing the spread of the virus makes it difficult for the students, especially from the remote sections, to commute to the examination venue.
Rejection of Petitions
The Supreme Court of India dismissed the petitions because further delay may jeopardize the future of the students. These examinations are crucial when it comes to getting admission into prestigious and honourable courses like MBBS and B.Tech. Moreover, MHRD has laid down safety protocols for the hosting of examinations as well as the candidates to follow.
Union Education Minister, Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ held out the order of the Supreme Court by saying that most of the candidates want the examinations to happen. He clarified this in a video conference earlier this month.
NTA has started conducting the JEE Main 2020 examination from 1 September 2020, and it will last till 6 September 2020 followed by NEET on 13 September 2020. NTA has further released an official notification for JEE Advanced 2020, including the critical dates, deadline, etc.
According to the latest report, West Bengal reported a total of 75% drop in the number of absentees on the first day of the JEE Main examination, followed by Gujarat and Punjab. Still, the examination is being conducted, and students are trying their best to deal with the circumstances.